Well, last night was painful for everyone, especially poor Roman Reigns, who got a little bit HUGELY SCREWED. But… enough about that, I’m sure we’ll get that recapped soon enough. Onto Monday night Raw.
As predicted, we start with a recap of Reigns vs. Ambrose, including the spear which got Reigns the win and the cuddle Dean gave him, before we see the spear from Roman, and the brogue kicks from Sheamus which ended Roman’s dream so quickly. And he shakes hands with Triple H.
We get shots of Roman’s crying face, which breaks me a little bit, and then the lights go up and out comes Trips, because he can’t let any sort of title change hands without being involved, and Steph, because she gives him validity of some sort. Seems Steph is going to talk first, about how life is defined by opportunity, and how Roman let his pass through his fingers. Trips agrees, saying he offered to let Roman take his space on the top of the mountain. Steph calls Trips a good boss, and he says he’s not a petty man. Please, Trips, we’ve all seen your career. He says he was the first man to try to congratulate Roman, and that he’s hurt by the fact that Roman decided to cheap shot him. Trips says that cheap shot is why Roman isn’t the champion. Steph looks very proud, like she loves watching her husband shout down other people. She also makes a face when Trips starts introducing Sheamus and growling his way through it, like that’s the voice he brings out in bed. Okay kids, keep it in your pants, wrestling is PG now.
Sheamus comes down, the new favourite child of the power couple, even if Seth looked more like them and took orders better. Sheamus is greeted with a mix of cheers and boos, like no one can quite decide what they think, but when he starts talking, the boos are the prevalent bits, as he says he appreciates this greatly, and that Trips gave him a good into. The ‘you look stupid’ chants rise, and Sheamus said that even those can’t make him feel bad. Sheamus said the Roman Empire lasted five minutes and fifteen seconds – nice and specific. ‘When Brutus stabbed Caesar, at least he died like a man’ Sheamus said, reminding everyone of Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls, talking about how everyone should totally just stab Caesar.
Sheamus holds up the belt and asks who looks stupid now, the crowd calling back ‘you’ but Trips brings it in and says nope, he looks like a champion, and Sheamus hugs his new mummy and daddy in a spirited fashion.
Roman’s music hits, and Roman ambles down to the ring to cheers from the crowd, and sour faces from everyone else. Sheamus calls Roman the ‘former’ champion, and asks how pride is working out for him. Roman smiles, and congratulates Sheamus as ‘Roman’ chants rise from the crowd, and Roman says he wants his title rematch… tonight. On Raw? Steph breaks it up and the ‘yes’ chants rise from the crowd, Steph mocking the hand movements, and she says ‘how does it feel to want?’ saying that because he speared her husband and she wants him to back up and get out of the ring. Roman talks over Steph, and asks if Trips is standing behind Steph because he’s afraid of Roman, so Steph steps aside. Personally, I’d stand behind Steph, she’s an angry woman on a mission, she’s powerful. Also, sexist Roman, she’ll kill you before Trips does, the McMahons are scary people. Trips is only a McMahon by marriage – Queen’s consort, you might say.
The two men stare at each other in silence, like they’ve forgotten their lines, or are about to kiss, and as Trips goes to speak, Roman shoulders his way up closer. Trips says that spearing him didn’t exactly work out for Roman, did it, and Roman’s mouth twitches – the rematch will be when Trips says so, not when Roman demands it, and that it won’t be tonight. The crowd boos, and Roman looks like he can’t make his mind up as to what he wants to say, and then Rusev appears, kicking Roman in the head. Steph practically hops with glee as she and her husband leave Rusev and Sheamus in the ring to deal with Reigns, who’s holding his head and taking shouts of Bulgarian abuse from Rusev, before they all leave him in the ring. Trips, from up the ramp, says pride is a bitch, and that Roman can have his rematch at TLC in three weeks. Before they go, Steph says that Roman will fight Rusev tonight, as Roman checks his jaw for the twentieth time in the last 24 hours – but then, he did just get kicked twice in the face.
We get a reminder of the match with Undertaker last night, a horrible reminder that it might be the last time we see Taker and Kane in a ring together. Personally, I’m hoping for a final match at Wrestlemania, but you know, hope.
Our next match is a tag match between the Dudley Boyz and the Wyatts, Bray warming up his back on the edge of the ring. Luke Harper against Bubba to start with, a slugfest with some good elbows and then some classic mat wrestling. Harper goes for a cheap shot on D-Von but turns into two lariats from Bubba, then a boot, so D-Von gets tagged in. They get two good double team moves in, before calling for 3D, but Bray drags Harper out of the ring, holds him by the throat and then whispers to him. Bray, the other team are meant to beat up your boys, not you.
Apparently we missed some exciting moves during the commercial break, but what’s new? When we come back, the Wyatts are in control, Bray taking over to drag D-Von around the ring before holding him in a submission move. Bubba fights out, and Bray suplexes Bubba, before getting hit with a running senton. Bray makes the tag and Bubba plants Harper, cheap shotting Strowman, but it’s all a distraction to set up for a discus clothesline from Harper – and the Wyatts take the win. Erick Rowan comes in for no reason and plants D-Von, who was trying to look after his fallen teammate, and Strowman goes for the bear hug on Bubba, knocking him out flat, to boos from the crowd, as Bray giggles like a schoolgirl and goes for sister Abigail on D-Von. The Dudley Boyz have just been sacrificed to the Wyatts’ increasing frustration that they can’t get a good win.
We get told that Michael Cole will never go round to Byron Saxton’s house to play WWE 2K16, because he hates people, or something, and then it’s another Undertaker promo/retrospective/idk what, with Shawn Michaels and Triple H showing up to talk about Taker’s awesomeness. I don’t know if this a goodbye or if we’re getting these all the way up to Wrestlemania, where Taker retires? I have no idea.
Diva’s match next, with Sasha Banks coming out with Tamina and Naomi, and Sasha’s against Becky Lynch. Sasha complains that Becky’s music is too loud so the crowd chant it once it stops. Because why not. Sasha dominates at the start, slamming Becky into the mat, but Becky’s having none of it, throwing herself up at Sasha, who bounces her off the second rope with a boot to the gut. Sasha takes control again, pushing Becky into the corner and going after her with vicious kicks. The chants rise ‘let’s go Sasha’ ‘let’s go Becky’ but Tamina gets a cheap shot to Becky, and Sasha uses it to her advantage, knees to the spine and holding her in a submission move. Becky comes back with a kick to the face, and holds Sasha down for two but Sasha kicks out. Three blows to Sasha’s face and then they’re throwing each other around in suplexes, and Becky gets the disarmer, Tamina distracting the ref so Naomi can pull Sasha under the ropes without being seen. Sasha rolls Becky up into a pin, and gets it, Becky losing due to numbers being stacked against her.
Paige interrupts Cole from backstage, as she wants to show us how Charlotte cheated, says people have no idea about this world. Cole interrupts Paige, which is not a good idea, and Paige is happy to run her mouth as we’re shown that Charlotte’s shoulder was under the ropes as she made Paige tap out, so she didn’t win. Some very vicious words from Paige about how Charlotte and her dad were huge cheats, and how she’s going to be champion, no matter what anyone says.
The New Day come out with unicorn hobby horses, which is the best thing ever, and Kofi’s hair is tied into a unicorn spike, too. They’re turning one, because they’ve been a team for a year now, and none of them can say ‘the capital of country music’ because country music is awful, and they might be all about positivity, but country music sucks. They then sing us a song about tractors and losing your girlfriend and your dog running away – and they’re not wrong. Kofi says ‘this is me, not my character, but country music suuuuuuucks’. Perfect. They say they’ve been so inspired by the Authority’s power of opportunity, so they’re doing an open challenge – and the Lucha Dragons come out.
Kalisto says it’s more like ‘new day runs’ and the crowd get going, and the Luchas come in to fight them. Then the Usos show up, but New Day say they aren’t ready for a title match. The Dragons say that they’re going to make it a triple threat, but the New Day try and back down, saying they’re cancelling their open challenge. The Usos and the Dragons won’t have it, so they both beat the hell out of the New Day as they run away from the challengers.
Renee Young interviews Charlotte about the cheater label, and Charlotte says it doesn’t surprise her that Paige says that, and that she might always respects Paige, and always will, but that no matter what Paige does, Charlotte’s going to face her tonight, and she’ll win.
Mark Henry – oh, hello, haven’t seen you for a while – comes down to the ring to face Neville, who was unceremoniously taken out early last night, possibly because of this. Classic David and Goliath stuff, Neville going for the knees early and using his speed to get out of the way of Henry’s body, but he catches Neville and flings him into turnbuckle, going for headbutts until Neville’s a crumpled heap on the mat. Neville tries a few movements, but Henry flings him across the ring easily. He comes back, flying, and Henry goes for the slam, but doesn’t get it, Neville landing on his feet and getting a kick to Mark Henry’s face, knocking him flat. For some unknown reason, we see Miz watching this spot, who knows what he’s got to do with it. Neville goes to the top rope and delivers the red arrow, taking Henry down for the three count, but when Neville goes to leave the ring, Mark henry is in the way. He holds out his hand for Neville to shake, then claps him gently around the side of the head and says ‘You’re gonna be good, boy’. That’s a big mark of respect right there.
Stardust is quietly losing it on his own in a dark room in front of a camera, talking about Goldie’s return and how the world is ganging up against him – and Titus O’Neill shows up to tell him he’s got a very nice place, that science was his favourite subject in school, and to point out constellations, including what he thinks is ‘titanium’. He then barks at Stardust, who flinches, and is left to hiss at nothing, as we prepare for a six man tag including Goldust.
Stardust comes out, flanked by his Ascension boys, to meet Goldie and the Prime Time players – nice to see Darren Young back. To start with, it’s Stardust vs. Goldie, but the tag is quickly made to bring Viktor in to face Goldie. Goldie takes everything out on Viktor, with deep arm drags, before hanging over to Darren Young, who throws Viktor around like he’s made of nothing. Double team move with Titus and Young, slamming Young into Viktor, and they keep Viktor in their corner, Stardust shouting at Viktor to get to them. Stardust comes in to take out Darren Young, but ends up getting unceremoniously thrown over the ropes, Viktor taking a boot to Young’s head. Once back in the ring, there’s a double team move between Viktor and Konnor on Young, with an elbow drop or a cover for two.
Tag through to Stardust, Darren Young hanging off the copes in the wrong corner, with Goldie and Titus trying to get in, and Stardust chases Young out of the ring to slam him into the barricades and slap him around in the corner. The ‘Cody’ chants start, which gives Young a chance to fight back, but Stardust drags him back into the corner and Young gets both of them flat on their bag. Both team tag, Titus against Konnor, who goes down easy, but Goldie can’t wait any longer, sending Stardust over the ropes, Darren Young taking down Viktor, and Titus pinning Konnor for the win. Disappointed not to see more from Goldie, who dances with the Prime Time Players a little, before Titus seems to tell him off for being too white. They leave Stardust crumpled against the announce table, in shock.
We hear we’re getting a MexAmerican address, and Zeb Colter gets to come further than the ramp for once, gets to come all the way to the announce table. Zeb says that just because Del Rio was unsuccessful doesn’t mean that MexAmerica isn’t great. He also talks about how the Americans went to complain on social media – in which he includes Grindr. Not sure who’s been showing him Grindr, but possibly that’s how he found oily Del Rio. Who knows. They say they’re closing the borders of MexAmerica, not letting in anyone else, saying that no one is brave, no one is representing America.
Swagger comes out in his t-shirt a small child drew for him, and shakes his head sadly at the two men by the ring. Swagger says that Zeb used to put his hand over his heart, that he and the crowds looked up to Colter, and now he’s turned his back on America. He calls Zeb bitter and out of touch, and Del Rio says Swagger doesn’t get to talk like that. The USA chants sound… pretty xenophobic, to be honest, but the ‘stupid American’ comment gets Del Rio booed, so that’s something, I guess. Swagger comes down to the ring, and Del Rio takes off the title belt, the two squaring off. Del Rio makes a run for it, and he and Colter leave, with Swagger in the ring leading a ‘we the people’ chant. Lots of talking tonight. I guess I’ve been spoilt by the championship tournament meaning that we had less time for nonsense talk. A friend points out that if Dean had been our champion, there would have been less talking and more pyro – and we wouldn’t have to put up with Michael Cole. Ah, the dream.
Paige vs Charlotte again now, even though we just had this match last night, because Paige’s heat apparently needed even more cranking up. Well, it is winter. Both women start with some grappling, before it becomes a slapping fest, because heaven forbid they punch like wrestlers instead of slap like children. Charlotte takes Paige down to the floor, holding her there before bringing her up for an armbar, but Paige gets a foot on the rope to force the break. Paige hugs the ring post, and the ref is trying to tell her to get in, but she just keeps shouting no, before looking like she will and running to the other ring post. Charlotte throws her into the ring and gives her a few good knees to the face, before coming off the ropes with a good knee, and has to grab Paige to pull her back into the ring. Charlotte gets a pin for two, and then rolls Paige around in the ring for a while, before making the mistake of getting into the corner. Paige drags her down, with Charlotte’s neck hitting the turnbuckle pretty hard as she comes down, before she gives Charlotte a few boots and twists her up into a submission move which she holds as Charlotte tries to fight her way to the rope, and makes it.
Charlotte looks stunned as Paige takes her over the ropes and goes to town on her, before pulling her back into the ring and in for a cover, with a kick out at two, then two and a half. Paige takes her down for a figure four on her face, holding her down, but Charlotte counters, getting Paige’s shoulders down for one. Paige suplexes Charlotte into the ropes, almost flinging her out of the ring, then tries to wrap Charlotte’s bad knee around the ropes. Paige counters a couple of chops, then kicks Charlotte in the face, Paige going for the cover and Charlotte kicking out at two. Again, Paige sends Charlotte into the ropes via a suplex, but she gets up, still fighting, and takes Paige down with a messy scramble on the ground, Paige reversing it and punching Charlotte in the face. She gets the cover and Charlotte kicks out at two.
Paige goes for a leg breaker, trying to make Charlotte tap out, then a stranglehold, before we can hear a few quick spots being discussed and they both move, separating, until they both kick at the same time, with both of them kicking and falling at the same time. After a commercial break (seriously, this match is awesome, this is just breaking flow!) with Paige doing a kip up to mock Charlotte. Charlotte gets Paige with a good few chops, and pins her, but Paige kicks out at two. Charlotte has Paige in a submission hold again, wrapped up, but she gets out and Charlotte spears Paige out of the ring. The count starts, and it’s at five before both women seem to realise that they’re going to get counted out, Paige throwing Charlotte into the barricades and a double count out as she doesn’t get back in within time. Charlotte goes for Paige, but Paige is having none of it, puts her in the PTO on the announce table, and even when officials split them up, Paige puts her boot in Charlotte’s back a few times before she’s had enough. Charlotte is left panting on the announce table, her belt handed back to her as the refs help her out.
We come back to the ring, and there’s HEATH SLATER in the ring! Heath Slater! We thought you were dead, or fired, or injured, or in a ditch somewhere with Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow! It don’t even have a tag for you on this blog, you’ve been gone so long! He bitches about country, and Ryback comes out just to get hit in the back with a guitar, which he no-sells like he’s John Cena. Ryback gets a suplex, then the meathook on Slater, and then shellshock, before Ryback’s music is back, and he waves the rest of the guitar around, before leaving. It’s like Raw wasn’t even booked tonight, like they just called it an open challenge and created matches for whoever showed up.
Tag team match with Dolph and Dean vs Tyler Breeze and KO. Like two pretty wonders fighting a dad and his twinky son. We start with some deep arm drags from Breeze, Summer being a cutie on the side of the ring, and gets tossed around a lot before KO is tagged in, Dolph gets to Dean and tags him in, and KO decides he had quite enough of that last night and sends Tyler in. Tyler tries it on with Dean, but nothing, Dolph tagged in with an elbow drop, then Breeze gets a good kick to Dolph’s face. KO gets tagged in, a running senton and a pin for two, before throwing him into the corner and tagging in Breeze.
KO gets tagged in, Dolph being thrown around and held in a submission move as KO trash talks him, but Dolph stops it with a gut punch, trying to fight his way out, he leaps to get to Dean, but doesn’t make it, giving a dropkick to KO. Dean is bouncing on the apron, and Dolph gets up, trying to get to the corner, and he makes it, even with KO on his foot, KO tagging Tyler in, Dean sending him over the ring, flying over the ropes to follow him after a little kiss mock, then dragging him back into the ring and getting a missile dropkick off the top rope. KO gets a hit, with Breeze coming up behind Dean, and twisting him up, but Dean just twists out, gets a foot to the gut, and goes to town on him. Behind them, KO tries to get involved, but Dolph hits him with a superkick, and the two grapple a little outside the ring, Dolph looking a little punch-drunk. Dean get Tyler with dirty deeds for three – he plays with bigger boys that you every day, Breezey, don’t push your luck, and both Dean and Dolph keep their eyes on KO as he collects his title and leaves the ring.
I do love to see Dean and Dolph in the ring, but my hands struggle to keep up with typing fast enough to call their matches! They’re so dynamic and so much happens that it’s very hard to type, and watch, and think all at the same time, so my apologies that this was a little scrappy. Plus… I love to watch them both in the ring, and sometimes I want to just watch, not write. Guilty pleasures.
We get a reminder of what happened in the Roman vs Dean match, and the aftermath. Roman’s last few days have gone from worse to even worse now, with him facing the newly returned Rusev, who was out with a bicep tear for a little while. Sheamus gets his own entrance, despite the fact that he’s just going to be standing in the corner cheering on Rusev, supposedly. Seems to be what happens when you’re the champ, I guess.
Rusev doesn’t start off easy, taking Roman down and holding him in a chokehold, but Reigns struggles out, bouncing Rusev off the ropes and getting a huge blow to the face, sending Rusev down. He goes for a Samoan drop but doesn’t get it, so hit a neck breaker instead, but Rusev kicks out of the cover at one. Roman is bouncing Rusev off the turnbuckles, but Rusev gives some hard blows to Roman’s face, shoulder and chest, leaving a defeated looking Roman slumped on the bottom rope, in the right space to take some fists to the back. Roman gets a foot to the face, but gives on back to Rusev quickly, and he’s not waiting when Rusev comes out of the ring, slamming him into the barricades and staring down Sheamus at ringside, a little of the redhead’s trash talk riling him up.
Roman and Rusev are back in the ring after the break, but Reigns ends up outside, and Sheamus punches him in the face, Rusev grinning as he grabs Roman by the hair and pulls him back into the ring. Roman’s holding his back, and turns to look at Sheamus, before getting a boot from Rusev. Roman looks like he barely has the strength to get up, Rusev working on his back and side, before a rebound kick off the ropes, pinning Roman for two. Rusev goes back for submissions moves, holding him hard, but Roman powers out with a gut punch to Rusev, a right hook, and then a boot to the midsection stops him. Roman goes to bounce off the ropes, but Sheamus grabs his foot – the ref caught it – but Rusev uses it to get Roman back down on the ground. The ref tries to send the champ out from ringside for the interference, and Rusev, distracted by that, gets rolled up by Reigns for two, then given a Samoan drop that leaves both men on their backs. The count gets to nine before they’re back on their feet, trading blows and the crowd are cheering for Reigns, which is nice to hear. Rusev goes down hard, into the corner where Reigns can make the most of the opportunity, winding up for a superman punch, but Rusev gets a heel kick in and pins Roman for a near-fall. Apparently creative think we like seeing Roman readjust his jaw – AGAIN – so he does that a little more, and Rusev goes to the top rope, a mistake as Reigns punches him, trying to go to the top rope, but he doesn’t get it, Rusev pushing him back, and a headbutt from the top rope – Reigns someone manages to kick out at two and a half.
Rusev goes for the accolade, but Reigns fights him out until Rusev is reduced to stomping on his back. He riles himself up, but runs into a superman punch that takes him down – but he kicks out at two. Both men look completely spent, flat in the ring, Rusev looks like he can barely see, and Reigns is so frustrated he puts his head then his fist into the mat, before getting up and roaring. Rusev rolls out of the ring, Roman coming round to take him down, but he runs into a kick to the jaw from Rusev. He puts Roman into the barricades, not once, but twice – with some screaming women almost getting in the way – and then bounces him off the announce table four times before Rusev rolls him back into the ring.
Rusev comes back in, but Reigns is up, kicking Rusev in the face and superman punching him dizzy, until he falls off the apron. Roman lies in the ring, Rusev hit the outside like all the air has left him, and Roman runs round for a drive-by to stop Rusev getting back into the ring. The second this happens, there’s a bullhammer from Barrett, ending the match due to disqualification, who then goes to get a chair after he throws Roman back into the ring. Roman catches the chair thrown in, getting Barrett in the gut, then Rusev grabs the chair and raises it – but Roman smacks it out of his hands and takes the chair to Rusev’s back, before Sheamus also comes in for punishment, being send out of the ring holding his side. Roman sits back in the corner, holding his gut, but we end Raw with Roman standing on the second rope, raising the chair high as the euroboys make a run for it, and telling Sheamus ‘you’ve got what’s mine’.